Thursday, July 13, 2006

quick hello

I´ve got to be super quick... too much to do in our day in town : )
Froy and I have had many adventures since the last update, most with beaurocracy, communication, and organisation of development projects like this water project. We have pretty much uncovered the past and present of the situation, and putting together a new plan for the future. In short, the water project (though the world bank, a quito office, a municipal office, and a contractor) DOES include a slow sand filter already. No one in the community knew because the communication and involvement is so bad. The project is rather delayed so they are all cutting corners, and they have neither the money nor the time to do the community education component of the project (absolutely essential so that someone will clean the catchment, adjust the valves, run the pump, etc) nor are they going to fix the dam in the river that is in the process of breaking. Our new plan is to do these two things... the community capacitating to ensure that there is a large body of people in the community who understand how the whole water system works, how to run it, and how to fix problems, and also work with them to do some cement construction up in the river to improve the dam and catchment.
Other adventures abound--bathing in any of the plethera of rivers of different sizes in the community, learning some of the traditional ceramics, stories of cousins eaten by anocondas and relatives crippled for life by a boa and an insect whose venom is so poisonous that you will die within the hour ... and the only folk remedy is that you have to make love with someone... if you look at the snapfish photo album I sent out in another e-mail, its the yellowish insect floating around in a plastic bottle... Esteban, the man we are living with, grabbed it off a light and preserved it in paint thinner.
overall, life is beautiful and froy and i are really happy, and learning more every day.

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